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The Apple iPhone 5 has arrived! Is it worth the hype?

Apple Introduces iPhone 5

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Apple introduces the iPhone 5 in San Francisco. Did it live up to the hype?

Apple is still in the process of running through various product updates and rollouts in San Francisco, but the marquee event — the reveal of the all-new iPhone 5 — has concluded. The verdict: Apart from a modest change in the design and some improvements in speed and battery life, this is not a radically new smartphone. Here's a quick summary:

The new connector is the most controversial thing about the iPhone 5. Basically, Apple is replacing the familiar connector that was borrowed from the iPod eight years ago with a new, smaller connector. This is to make room inside the taller, thinner iPhone 5. But it strands the iNation with a bajillion connectors and chargers that have been amassed over the better part of a decade. Apple says it will provide an adapter, called "Lightning," for something like $15, but you know how it goes with fiddly little things like that. Apple better sell them in six-packs.

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3 reasons why the Apple iPhone 5 will fail

iPhone 4s

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An Apple Store customer looks at the new Apple iPhone 4S. It will be old news by tomorrow, replaced by the iPhone 5.

Okay, I'm obviously taking a highly contrarian position here. But in the context of iPhone 5 mania, it's a worthwhile undertaking — especially given that an analyst at JPMorgan thinks that iPhone 5 sales could add a half a point — Half a point! — to U.S. GDP growth this year. The iPhone 5, which Apple is debuting tomorrow, could literally save the economy, which actually isn't all that surprising an outcome if you believe, as I sometimes do, that the U.S. economy these days consists of Apple, the auto industry, and little else.

The iPhone 5 isn't that different from the iPhone 4S. True, it's expected to incorporate features that newer Android phones already have. With 4G LTE service and a larger screen, the iPhone 5 should be faster than its predecessor and provide lusher viewing of photos, videos, games, and so on. The battery is also reported to be beefier. But so what? Is the iPhone 5 going to rock anybody's world? It's likely to be a commendable refinement/improvement on the former model. But world-rocking in the smartphone world seems to belong to the Android Nation.

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